We’ve bundled together all of the best things to do in Auckland at night. Plan your next evening adventure with our insider knowledge and make it one to remember.
Auckland is New Zealand’s most vibrant city so it’s not surprising to learn that the fun doesn’t stop just because the sun goes down!
Whether you’re looking for date ideas, family-friendly evening fun or just an excuse to get out of the house at night, we’re pleased to bring you the very best things to do in Auckland at night.
This article first appeared on Exploring Auckland.
The Best Things to Do in Auckland at Night
To help make life easy, we’ve organised each of these awesome evening activities into groups – many cross over between different groups though, so we suggest you scan through them all.
Family-Friendly Things to Do in Auckland at Night
1. Marvel at the Universe at the Auckland Stardome
New Zealand has some of the clearest night sky views on the planet, and stargazers can check out these views at The Stardome Observatory in Maungakiekie/One Tree Hill Domain.
There you’ll find telescopes that enable viewers to see sights such as Saturn’s rings or Mars!
The planetarium hosts shows throughout the summer holidays, even offering education and entertainment for young people in the form of live science experiments and bottle rocket launches.
The Pink Floyd show, hosted on Tuesday evenings, is a highlight and features music and lasers.
2. Visit Glowworms for Free!
A little-known place to see glow worms in Auckland’s CBD is Lovers Lane. This bush walk is close to the duck ponds at Auckland Domain.
All you need to do is grab a torch (which you’ll turn off once at the glow worms) and your whānau!
In addition, you can find glow worms at Totara Park and also in near St Johns Bush at Kepa Bush.
3. Check Out the Auckland Night Markets
Located across seven different locations (and held on different nights, spread across the week), the Auckland Night Markets are a fan-favouite.
They provide an excellent opportunity for you to sample local delicacies and Asian food and to buy something for the kids or grandchildren. There are also plenty of live music performances (from live violinists and folk singers to soft rock bands) – making it an amazing all-round evening entertainment option.
No worries if it’s raining either – this event is undercover so it takes place rain or shine.
This is a great place to go with family or friends and enjoy the bustling atmosphere.
Challenge Yourself with These Things to do in Auckland at Night
4. Scare Your Socks Off at Spookers
Based in Karaka, just south of Auckland, this theme park is ideal if you’re looking for scare-themed entertainment. It is located on the site of a former psychiatric hospital so has plenty of genuine spookiness!
There visitors make their way through four different attractions named The Woods, Haunted House, The Fog and Disturbia, each with plenty of actors ready to scare your socks off.
This is a great place to visit if you are travelling in a group!
Spookers is open every Friday and Saturday evening from 7.30 – 9.30pm.
Although Spookers is aimed at a more mature audience, kid-appropriate activities (for those older than 8 years old) are also available.
5. Escape from Escapade
If you are looking for a team building exercise for your workplace, or simply just something to do with your friends in the evening, give Escapade a try.
This company has been rated as the best escape room experience Auckland on TripAdvisor, Facebook and Google!
Escapade offers a choice of five escape rooms:
- The space-themed Galactic Cantina
- The Bach – set in a classic Kiwi beach house
- The Tavern – a high stakes puzzle game
- The Boathouse – where you and your team are preparing for a boat race – but someone is sabotaging your plans and you must save the day
- Old School – a classic escape room where you have to use old-school items to figure your way out. They even have a duplicate of this room, allowing two groups to race each other!
Each room provides a challenging experience with twists and turns, lasting an hour. The Bach is especially recommended, though they’re all fantastic.
In addition, they also have an outdoor game, where group members test their problem solving abilities, creativity and attention to detail whilst running around the city. This is a particular favourite amongst families.
Good luck with your escape!
Date Ideas – Auckland by Night
6. Enjoy the City Lights
There are many spots around Auckland that are perfect for night-time photography and general sightseeing.
If you’d like to enjoy city lights with your date, you’ll want to head for Mt Eden or Little Shoal Bay (The Wharf is a particularly good spot).
If you’re specifically keen to snap some photos (perhaps a momento of a great first date?), you might like to try your hand at astrophotography.
In this case, you’ll want to head away from the city lights. The west coast beaches are fantastic (Bethells Beach and Muriwai, for example) as are the bays that follow on from Maraetai.
7. Challenge Your Date to a Round of Mini Golf
If you’re about to embark on your first date with someone, wanting a fun activity, why not try mini-golf?
It can provide a fun alternative to the usual dinner/drinks/movie option, and a friendly, competitive game can help break the ice.
Auckland has several mini golf courses, which are often based on a theme. With options like as Safari & T-Rex Alley, Around The World, or Treasure Island, you are sure to find something suitable close to home.
Lilliputt Mini Golf also has a course close to the Waitemata Harbour, so you may enjoy the views while you play.
Best of all, all equipment will be provided so you’ll be able to jump right into having fun.
8. Visit Auckland’s Skytower
The view from the Skytower is particularly stunning at night, when the city is lit up, with 360 degree views of Auckland.
If you’re after fine dining, it is hard to beat the views from Orbit – the revolving restaurant at the top of the Skytower. You’ll also receive free travel up and down the Skytower if you book a meal here, so you can wow your date whilst saving a little money.
Alternatively, you can visit The Sugar Club on the level above Orbit and sip on locally-inspired cocktails such as pit wine (a corn wine cocktail based on Māori hangi techniques) or kamote (a rum cocktail containing kumara and Creole bitters.). Yum!
9. Hit Up a Boutique Cinema
If you’re after a classic date option that’s a little more impressive, leave the standard name-brand movie theatres behind and visit a boutique cinema.
There are a number of boutique cinemas, such as Silky Otter in Orakei and Monterey Cinemas in Howick, which provide a smaller, cosier atmosphere to watch movies in.
If you like arthouse movies, you may like to check out Capitol Cinema in Mt Eden, which shows some current releases and older films as well.
Auckland Evening Activities for Adventure-Seekers
10. Enjoy Night Canyoning At Piha
Explore Piha in a new and exciting way by taking a guided tour with AWOL Canyoning, winner of Trip Advisor’s Travellers Choice award 2020!
Your adventure will start at dusk when you arrive at Piha to watch the sunset. Then you will abseil under a waterfall to discover hidden pools and caves full of glow worms.
Night tours last approximately five hours with return transport to the city (if required) and snacks and refreshments too.
Equipment and instruction by qualified, experienced guides will also be provided so you can enjoy your trip safely.
This is a unique thing to do in Auckland at night and one that’s highly recommended!
11. Take to the Water with Evening Kayaking
If you enjoy getting out on the water, you’ll love evening kayaking!
Fergs Kayaks and Auckland Sea Kayaks both offer evening tours to Rangitoto Island, beginning with a paddle across the water. From there, you’ll learn about Rangitoto’s history and unique ecological environment. Don’t miss this chance to visit one of Auckland’s legendary landmarks – made all the more special on sunset.
If you’re lucky, you may even spot some leopard seals or dolphins on your trip!
Auckland Sea Kayaks also offers a BBQ meal and refreshments as part of their tour offering, making it an awesome all-around evening adventure.
12. Race Around at Asylum Paintball
Paintball games are an excellent source of entertainment for events such as birthday parties or office functions – now though, your fun doesn’t have to be limited to daytime hours!
Your fitness and tactical abilities will be tested in both indoor and outdoor environments in games such as Urban Assault and Doom. Games last from two to three hours, with pizza delivery included in the premium package.
If you’d like the fun of paintball but aren’t quite brave enough, you might like to play laser tag instead.
13. Hit the Slopes at Snowplanet
Auckland’s fortunate to have its own indoor ski-field which means the days of leaving down to hit the slopes are long behind us.
Aucklanders can now get out on the snow right through the evening, without any worries about the weather.
Snowplanet is set up with a number of different spaces, allowing them to cater for new skiers and boarders, right through to those with masses of experience.
Next time you’re looking for something fun to do in Auckland, why not combine fun and fitness into one?
They’re open until 10pm every night (with extended hours on Friday, when they close at midnight.)
14. Visit the Auckland Fish Market for Fresh Seafood
For those of you who enjoy seafood, you will be able to eat to your heart’s content at Auckland Fish Market.
There you’ll find a range of restaurants to cater to you – with everything from Asian fusion food to gelatos – and, of course, you are sure to get fantastic fish and chips there too!
Fresh seafood just doesn’t get better.
15. Treat Yourself to an Auckland Harbour Dinner Cruise
Auckland is known as the City of Sails, and if you enjoy being out on the water, a dinner cruise is a great opportunity to soak up the sights while relaxing and enjoying a meal.
Harbour cruises also include commentary, providing insight into Auckland’s unique culture and landscape.
Plus you’ll enjoy delicious food with incredible scenery all around you.
That sounds memorable to us!
16. Dine at a Fancy Food Court
If you’re heading out for kai with friends and can’t decide on one spot in particular, why not try a modern food court?
Gone are the days of dark (and potentially grubby) food courts!
Modern food courts are a pleasure to dine in. They offer restaurant-quality food, freshly prepared to order and, best of all, allow your party to order from different restaurants whilst dining at the same table.
If this sounds like a bit of you, we recommend you try out the following:
- Elliot Stables, 39-41 Elliott Street, Auckland CBD
- Harbour Eats, 21 Queen Street, Auckland CBD
- Queens Rise, 125 Queen Street, Auckland CBD
- Eatery, 215 Kepa Road, Mission Bay
- Goodside, Smales Farm, 72 Taharoto Road, Takapuna
17. End the Evening with an Amazing Dessert
Auckland is spoilt for choice when it comes to amazing dessert options.
Are you looking for a tasty follow-up to dinner that you’ve had at one of our many amazing restaurants? Or maybe a stand-alone treat?
You’re in luck as Auckland has a bunch of great sweet treats.
One of our favourite spots in Giapo – there they create and serve the most creative ice creams imaginable – and they taste incredible too!
If you time things right, you might even be able to join one of their behind-the-scenes tours. During this tour, you’ll be shown how they design their ice creams and will sample countless treats too.
Seasonal Night-Time Activities in Auckland
18. Check Out the Chinese Lantern Festival – January/February
If you’re in Auckland during Chinese New Year (around January to February), check out the Lantern Festival.
This festival celebrates Chinese culture and takes place at Auckland Domain. It is absolutely magical!
The Lantern Festival features an array of handmade lanterns, martial arts demonstrations, music performances and a wide variety of delicious Asian food stalls. Depending on the night you visit, you might even see a laser show on the Harbour Bridge.
Admission to this event is free and it is suitable for the whole family.
19. Enjoy the Open Air Cinema – February to March
Summer is an excellent time to watch films outdoors. Fortunately, Auckland Council hosts Movies in Parks from February until March in parks across Auckland.
You can watch anything from animated films to blockbusters for free!
To make the most of your evening out, we suggest taking some fold-out chairs or a picnic rug. And of course, you’ll want lots of delicious snacks too.
Or, should you prefer, food is often available for purchase onsite.
20. Head to the Auckland Zoo at Night – January to March
Every Friday from January 17th to March 6th, Auckland Zoo extends their opening hours.
Visitors can see 135 species of animals – everything from giraffes and rhinos to native birdlife – until 8pm!
Last entry to Zoo Lates is at 7pm and tickets will be discounted for evening visits.
Auckland Zoo is a terrific place to visit with your family or go on a picnic date. Seeing the animals in the evening make a visit even more memorable.
21. Learn Something New at a Night Course
As we all know, learning does stop when we finish school.
Where though can you find fun organised learning as an adult?
From cooking to book keeping (and everything in between), these affordable classes are a great way to fill your evenings whilst learning something new.
With such a fantastic range of night-time fun in Auckland you’ll be hoping for the sun to set just a little more earlier!
Which evening activities will you plan for first?
Photo credit: Todd Eyre.
Post by Sarah Ingleton.